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Doc Adsul on bank checkup trip

Calcutta, Aug. 6: Anandrao Vithoba Adsul, the Union minister of state for finance, will review the performance of three Calcutta-based banks — Allahabad Bank, Uco and UBI on August 13. Adsul will be in the city to attend a banking conference being organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The minister will review the non-performing assets of the three banks. Uco and UBI have managed to get rid of the ‘weak bank’ stigma and have turned around. Both the banks are planning an IPO of Rs 200 crore and Rs 50 crore, respectively.

When contacted, officials of the three public sector banks said, “The minister takes stock of the situation whenever he is in town. He will do the same this time. As the first quarter is over, the banks will be in a better position to brief the minister. The banks would also like to hear from Adsul what other steps need be taken to put a check on the NPAs.”

The three city-based banks have high NPAs like all others in the banking industry. Officials of the three banks said, “We have taken steps to recover the NPAs and we have achieved good results. In the first quarter of this fiscal there have been very little accretion of fresh NPAs.”

Adsul regularly holds review meetings with banks and finance ministry officials to monitor recovery measures. He has set an ambitious target of reducing the NPA in the banking industry by 50 per cent in the current fiscal. The total NPA in the banking industry is more than Rs 1 lakh crore.

Apart from Adsul, IDBI chairman P. P. Vora, ICICI bank executive director Kalpana Morparia, Chandan Bhattacharya, deputy managing director of State Bank of India, R. Kakkar, managing director of Asset Reconstruction Company (India) Limited will also attend the conference.

CII (ER) chairman Sanjay Budhia said, “Bank credit has been growing at an year-on-year rate of over 20 per cent in 2002-03, up from 15-17 per cent growth in the last two years. The sharp growth in retail lending together with some pick-up in credit to medium and large enterprises has led to this spurt.”

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